Dishwasher not drying? Five tips to try:

October 20th, 2015

Appliance Hack Dishwashers Small Appliances

Dishwasher not drying_

Dishwashers are meant to provide convenience at home, saving you time and effort. So it’s always frustrating when you still need to hand-dry your dishes after the dishwashing’s complete, even after running the drying cycle.

SMS50E32AUBosch SMS50E32AU Dishwasher

Here are a few common pitfalls to avoid when it comes to making sure your dishes come out of the dishwasher dry enough to put way immediately:

Open the door as soon as the wash cycle is over

Dishwashers clean using hot water, and when their wash cycles are over, the residual steam from this water remains trapped inside the machine. If this steam can’t escape, the moisture will settle back on your dishes, leaving them slippery and damp.

Smeg DWA315X DishwasherSmeg DWA315X Dishwasher

Some dishwasher models are designed to automatically open at the end of each wash cycle, releasing the steam so the dishes can properly air-dry. If your dishwasher doesn’t do this, keep an ear out for an End Of Cycle alarm, or wait for the Time Remaining indicator to count down to zero. Even setting a simple countdown on your phone’s stopwatch can help remind you that it’s time to open your dishwasher.

Check that your dishes aren’t touching

stacking a dishwasher source: Piotrus on Wikimedia Commons

You should try to leave a bit of room around each dish that you load into your dishwasher. Points where two dishes touch one another are ideal areas for water and steam to collect and pool, and can leave you with residual drips of moisture when the wash cycle is over.

Use rinse-aid

dishwasher rinse aidsource: Michael on Flickr

While dishwashing detergent does a good job of getting your dishes clean, rinse-aid helps water to run smoothly off your dishes. This prevents spots of residual water from marring fine glassware, and also helps to make sure the water slides off the dishes, leaving them nicely dry.

Are you washing plastic dishes?

It’s usually not a great idea to wash plastic items in the dishewasher, due to the risk of damage from the hight tempertures involved. But even tough, dishwasher-safe plastic items don’t conduct heat in quite the same way a glass, metal or ceramic dishes.


This means that the water used to clean plastic items ends up at a lower temperature than the water that cleans the other items, and cooler water doesn’t evaporate as readily as hotter water. In turn, this means that plastic dishes are far more likely to end up still damp at the end of a dishwashing cycle.

Stop pre-rinsing dishes

Pre-rinsing your dishes before they go in the dishwasher isn’t necessary, as dishwasher detergent needs some grime to cling to in order to function properly and provide a thorough clean.

dirty dishes

What’s more, some smart dishwashers use sensors to detect just how dirty your dishes are, and will automatically adjust the wash settings to provide them with the most efficient clean.

So if you’ve already pre-rinsed your dishes of food grots, it’s possible that your dishwasher will use a shorter, lower-temperature wash to give them a less-intense clean. And as mentioned eariler, fast, low-temperature washing means less evaporation, which means more dampness on your dishes at the end of the cycle.

Mark joined Appliances Online in November 2011 and has since learned more than he ever expected to know about appliances. He enjoys looking for new and unusual ways for to solve everyday problems using typical household appliances. When he’s not toiling at the desks of Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he tries to find time to write the next big bestseller and draw satirical cartoons, but is too easily distracted by TV, music and video games. Mark’s favourite appliance is the Dyson Groom Tool, as he loves the concept of vacuuming your dog. Google+

One response to “Dishwasher not drying? Five tips to try:”

  1. Sarah says:

    Interesting tips thank you! (off to go and open my dishwasher door as the cycle has finished!

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